Elon Musk posted a lengthy blog entry slamming his CEO predecessor, Martin Eberhard. Ostensibly, Musk is just defending himself against Eberhard's recently-filed lawsuit. But enemies of Musk take note: If Tesla wants to keep Daimler's money, it must keep Musk.
At least, that's the way Musk is telling it:
Given that Daimler prides itself on integrity and conducted exhaustive due diligence, they would not have insisted that I remain CEO as a condition of the deal if Eberhard's attacks had merit.
Daimler's "cash infusion" (Musk's word) should be crucial to Musk's electric car company; just before the money came in we reported Tesla was running on fumes after nearly running out of cash last fall. So Musk will be awfully hard to oust if the Daimler deal really does lock him as CEO, if only because Tesla needs all the liquidity it can get.
Musk is said to have kept cash tight at PayPal to advance his control of the company; the Daimler clause accomplishes a similar goal at Tesla, albeit by different means. It would appear Musk is in the driver's seat, at least until another sugar daddy comes along.